BOSTON (CBS) – Pete Frates, an ALS advocate who was the inspiration behind the Ice Bucket Challenge, has died at 34 years old. “He is the quintessential example of sacrifice,” said Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn.
Boston College helped provide Pete Frates the platform he needed to help change the world as he battled ALS.
“When Pete got sick, nobody really talked about ALS, people didn’t know what it was,” said BC baseball coach Mike Gambino. “Everyone knows it, they’re going to find a cure for this disease and it’s going to be directly linked to Pete and what the Frates family has done.”
Frates attended BC from 2003 to 2007 and was a captain on the baseball team. After he was diagnosed with ALS in 2012, he joined the staff as Director of Baseball Operations.
In 2016 the school had his number 3 jersey retired which now hangs in the outfield. In 2020, Boston College will honor Frates again by naming the Harrington Athletics Village as the Pete Frates Center, a 31,000 square foot indoor baseball and softball facility.
“His legacy will live on through that center that will help BC baseball and BC athletics by providing a year-round facility,” Dunn said.
Those who knew him best say he approached the ugly disease as he did the game he loved.
“It would’ve been very easy to succumb to the human relations of anger and he didn’t,” Dunn said. “He said I’ve been afflicted with this illness and I’m going to use my time remaining here to try to help find a cure for it.”
A true champion who faced his battle with ALS with one thing on his mind: How he can help other families so they don’t have to endure the same struggle.
“Knowing Pete and his indomitable spirit is gone is hard for all of us but we’re happy and relieved for the family that he’s finally at peace,” Dunn said.